July 10th, 2009

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Friday July 10 a week away from Azores

Friday, July 10th, 2009

At 19.20 hrs UTC I was at 34.38N 41.51W with 679 miles to go. A 105 mile day. I am staying about 20 degrees south of the rhumb line to avoid unfavorable wind direction to the North of me. Still that same wonderful 15/20 knot SW keeping close to hull speed. Just the 90% jib and at times, when it drops to near 15 knots I add a 3 reef main. The mid ocean meeting, yesterday, was the 2nd encounter or even sighting, of another sail boat in the open ocean since I left for this madness in 2005. The previous encounter was in June 2007 on my way from Trinidad to the Chesapeake. At that time the sea was so calm that we came along side and exchanged gifts, a bottle of Trinidad Rum for Lindt chocolates. We became regular correspondents, Carl and Susan McKenzie of “Morning Star”. They were then on their way to the Med from Jacksonville. I lost contact when they stopped using SailMail. I was unable to get a forecast from Herb at the usual 19.30 rendezvous. Most likely he will try again at 23.00 hrs. But at any rate, I should be heading mor N.E., towards Horta on a 80 degree course instead I am at 100 degrees. A soon as the contrary winds to the north of me change I will head for the barn. Probably to-morrow, but the Grib files show less wind than I have now and no longer the down wind sleigh ride I have been spoiled with the last 5 days. I have had a problem starting the engine and spent a couple hours in the cramped quarter berth in the rolling seas. I think I fixed it. I run it once in a while in neutral to pump out the bilge water that drips from the packing gland and sometimes to make some more current when the solar panel is handicapped by a lack of light. I am not certain why I am still dragging the trap line. I can’t figure out the Radio Nederland schedule. Friday night is Cryptogram but they just signed off and no “Klare Taal”.